|Location||Sierra Leone, Northern Province|
|Central coordinates||11o 30.00' West 9o 20.00' North|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box and Table 3 for key species. A total of 105 species have so far been recorded from this poorly surveyed area. More species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome than currently recorded are expected to occur; among those which are known to be present is Coccycolius iris.
Site description Lake Sonfon (5,180 ha) is situated in a remote area in the mountainous north-east of the country. The nearest large town is Kabala, 60 km to the north. The lake is surrounded by hills, the vegetation of which comprises open grassland and wooded savanna, with fringing forest and, in some places, farmbush. Several small streams flow into the lake and these provide the main source of water for local communities. The lake is a centre of traditional beliefs and ceremonies for the local people.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Pied-winged Swallow Hirundo leucosoma||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Emerald Starling Coccycolius iris||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Data Deficient|
|Splendid Sunbird Nectarinia coccinigaster||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-winged Pytilia Pytilia phoenicoptera||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-faced Pytilia Pytilia hypogrammica||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Dybowski's Twinspot Euschistospiza dybowskii||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||Arable land||10%|
|Wetlands (inland)||Freshwater lakes and pools; Rivers & streams||70%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity Among mammals, Cephalophus niger (LR/nt), C. maxwelli (LR/nt) and Hexaprotodon liberiensis (VU) have all been recorded.
Management considerations The lake has been proposed as a National Park, but no management plan exists for the area. The scenic landscape offers ecotourism potential. The main threats are deforestation around the lake for agriculture, high hunting pressure (especially in the surrounding forest patches), and gold mining in the vicinity of the lake (perhaps the greatest potential long-term threat to the lake’s ecology).
References Phillipson (1978).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Sonfon and environs. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/05/2013
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